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‘Encounter’ - By Kerri-Ann Luketic

Words change over time. They have their own pathway of life development and potential, often influenced by culture and the generations that use them. The journey of a word is fascinating and over the past couple of years, I have found myself more often than not retracing the steps of words from their point of origin and original intent.

When it comes to the word, encounter, I find it’s currently being challenged by my internal world and is in the midst of transformation within me. A new expression is looking to form and come forth.

Encounter was the word that best described the moment when I first discovered His presence. I remember absorbing that moment as best as I knew how and then wondering, hoping, eagerly waiting for the next time His presence might enter the room.

His presence would blow my mind and at the same time, it would sustain me, filling my innermost being with an indescribable and incomprehensible love.

I would search and look for Him everywhere. He had come close to me, and my heart yearned for more. This taste-and-see experience was never going to be enough. I’m sure you can relate and have had similar experiences.

As I listened to those whom I admired for their wisdom and advanced journey, the conversation about what happens when God seems far away crossed my realm of focus. There were plenty of times when the tangible reality of feeling that there was a distance between the Lord and me was so real.

Why is He not talking to me?

Where is He?

Why can I not feel your presence, Lord?

Have I done something wrong?

I had resided and settled to the belief that, just like many of my experiences with people I loved, there was going to be distance. I would have to wait. I mean isn’t that what the waiting was all about? Distance. Space. Time. It’s all there in the bible. The people had to wait for His presence to return. The people didn’t hear from Him for years. All the evidence was presenting itself to be so.

Somehow, I would have to wait until He came again.

Yet in the surrender, the leaning in, the pursuit, the wonder, and all the words that we like to use to express our heart’s desire to be with Him, a transformation was happening.

Which, you know that’s what we talk about happening, right?!? That our minds are renewed, and our hearts are transformed by His presence.

My awareness of the distance between encounters with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit began to enter a realm outside of time. There is this blossoming taking place in the beauty of being in and being with Him without ceasing.

For me, I’m beginning to notice that one-off encounter experiences are coming to an end as we are awakening to our beings being with and in Him now and always.

In our Friday Café this week, I spoke of thinking about how I don’t encounter my children. I have three amazing teens living at home with me and each day we do life together, we are family, and we are the expression of the love we hold together.

With this thought, I wondered what it would look like to ‘encounter’ one of my kids and I couldn’t separate out moments in time to specific encounters. Each morning we arise, and we are family, we are together. There has been no separation or distance between our hearts. We have together cultivated and now inhabit a culture of love that Father has so generously poured into us.

Our hearts are entwined together, and we continue to grow like trees in a garden. Each contributing to the giving of shade, each sending our roots down deep and drawing up living water, each stretching out our branches in the various places of connection and influence that we are blessed to have, each producing fruit after our own kind, each moving in the spirit-wind and each expanding and increasing in growth, wonder, and majesty.

Now I know that not all families experience this kind of connection. I certainly have relationships outside of my children that are disconnected and broken. And I guess that’s why it is easy to see the distinction. Those broken relationships operate in a completely different way, in that they need to be moments and one-off encounters while we wait for healing to come forth in a way that will produce a healthy, deep loving connection.

I guess that’s one thing I want to point out here. What I see in my relationships with my children is the desire to stay in union. The desire to move together in love. The desire to listen, appreciate, and value each heart.

Thinking about this word, encounter, I realise how it has invoked the idea of separation, one-offs, and distance. That there would be time in between, and we would need to process and hold that moment in our hearts as if it might be the last one we are ever going to have.

At this point, I guess that’s where the longing and desire and leaning in, ignites. Because with each encounter there is the potential to inspire and invite a depth of connection that meets with longing and love and the awakening of hearts to the desire to be together in oneness, always.

As our hearts engage with new creation realities it seems to me that more of us will enter the glorious deep places of communing with the Lord, and ALL of His creation eternally now. Being in Him and Him being in us will birth this wonderful new expression and our language will transform right before our eyes.

I know that there is so much more to come in this conversation and in our experience with words like encounter. For now, as I ponder this expanding thought with a Selah, I’m reminded of this scripture …

“My old identity has been co-crucified with Christ and no longer lives. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, dispensing his life into mine!” Galatians 2:20 TPT

KA ❤️

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